11 February 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Five seconds might not amount to a lot of time considering that the 76th Annual Academy Awards broadcast is expected to run 3 1/2 hours when it airs Feb. 29 on ABC. But ABC's insistence on using a five-second tape delay has angered Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In a letter to the Academy's membership, he warned that a delay, which has not been used before on an Oscar show, could be the first step on a slippery slope that "introduces a form of censorship." Although the Academy's board of governors refused last week to endorse ABC's request to use a tape delay, the Academy admits that the decision ultimately rests in ABC's hands. And, in the wake of the fallout that followed Janet Jackson's breast-baring on CBS' broadcast of the Super Bowl, ABC intends to use a tape delay for the Oscar show.

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